Burnout. Negativity. Drift. At some point, all of us have experienced one (or all) of these. Even the most driven and goal-oriented individuals find themselves with low energy, lack of focus, or simply disengaged with their personal vision or purpose. As leaders, any one of these emotions can spell disaster. How can you lead and motivate a team when you can’t muster the energy yourself? As a certified trainer with The Energy Project, I found Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus an easy and insightful read.
Written as a business fable — similar to Patrick Lencioni’s works — it tells the journey of Negative George. Imagine waking up on a Monday morning, dreading an important meeting with your boss and team only to discover a flat tire. And then to remember the spare is also flat. Ok, you get the picture. We’ve all had bad days, where things seem to snowball into a complicated and seemingly insurmountable mess.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
In the Author’s Note, Gordon gives credit to others that inspired him to write the book. The most significant influencers were:
- Richard Bach, author of well-known children’s books such as Jonathan Livingston Seagull
- Jack Canfield’s positive energy formula (E + R = O)
- Heartmath and the science behind energy from the heart
In the book, Gordon also mentions Tony Schwartz and The Energy Project. Many of the “10 Rules to Fuel to Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy,” I believe are based upon Tony’s concepts and his research. So, what are the 10 rules?
10 Rules to Fuel Your Life with Positive Energy
- Assume Responsibility. As with most things in life, you can’t change what you don’t recognize. Using Gordon’s analogy, you are the driver of your own Energy Bus.
- Desire, Vision & Focus move you in the right direction. By creating a firm vision of your life and work, you can then focus on making it real.
- Positive Energy is Fuel. When you’re jazzed about your vision, you are inspired to make it meaningful for yourself and others.
- Invite Others to Join You. Share your vision and invite others onto your bus.
- Don’t Waste Energy. If others decide to join you on your journey, let it go. They are taking another bus.
- No Energy Vampires Allowed. Sometimes others are riding your bus but they sap your energy. If they can’t take part of your vision, they must get off your bus.
- Enthusiasm Attracts. Positive energy attracts like. When you share your vision, it energizes others and they want to join you on the journey.
- Love & Respect Your Passengers. Direct your energy to toward those who believe in your vision. Let them know you care and support them. In turn, they will help you reach your goals.
- Drive With Purpose. Connecting with your purpose generates positive energy which fuels your bus.
- Have Fun. Look out the window and appreciate the view. Enjoy the ride.
What Route Are You On?
If you don’t feel like you’re on the right bus, or the bus is moving far too slow, it might be time to take your own energy bus inventory. What’s working? What fuels your energy? What could be better? Sometimes it also makes sense to look for outside help. Consult a close friend, mentor, or even a coach to help you rev up your engine. The intent here is to take stock.
Are you happy with the bus you’re on?
Photo credit: Gabriel Garcia Marengo, Tim Pierce